Among the various mechanisms proposed, the process of non-enzymatic glycation of proteins is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic complications associated with renal failure. The two traditional factors found to modulate the early glycation of proteins are the prevailing concentration of glucose and half life of the protein. Among the various proteins that are known to undergo nonenzymatic glycation in vivo, hemoglobin has been the most thoroughly investigated. Determination of glycated hemoglobin in diabetic patients is currently acknowledged as the most reliable indicator for assessment of retrospective glycemic control and the planning of clinical management. The clinical utility of glycated hemoglobin measurements, however, in renal failure is controversial, given the numerous earlier studies showing no correlation between glycated hemoglobin and other indicators of blood glucose control in uremic subjects. With few exceptions, previous studies have suggested that the concentration of glycated hemoglobin was increased in uremic patients. There is documented evidence that increased glycated hemoglobin levels are found in certain non-diabetic states. So it stands to reason that hyperglycemia, although clearly being the culprit in diabetes, does not provide the complete answer to the etiology of increased early glycated products in non-diabetic conditions including chronic renal failure. This article reviews available evidence supporting increased glycation of hemoglobin in patients with chronic renal failure. Potential mechanisms for this increase are examined with special emphasis on the potential role of oxidative stress.